I know it's not a sexy topic, but I wanted to take a minute and talk about how you can help your local newspaper do its job. And by "their job," I mean getting the word out about businesses with fake reviews on Google Maps. We all know that as marketers we don't want our customers coming across these sites which is why we need to make sure that when someone does find one of these sites, they are able to quickly identify them for what they are - fraudulent!

The newspaper's goal is to provide readers with an unbiased and fair review of a business

Newspapers exist to provide relevant news for their audience and communities. Their goal is to help readers find what they are looking for to get information without being swayed by marketing efforts. Getting a newspaper involved, or an investigative journalist is a huge win in the fight against fake reviews.

They do not want to be seen as biased in any way

Newspapers are after a story and the truth behind the story. They are not concerned with how many readers see their news stories. Newspapers are independent organizations, not beholden to any business, individual or interest group. Their only concern is getting the facts out to their audience without media bias to make sure everyone gets a fair shake.

One way you can help the paper maintain its integrity is by telling them about businesses that have fake reviews on their page

When a tip is provided by a local resident, it legitimizes their investigation into an issue. People generally won't jump on the topic of fake reviews unless someone was ripped off, or had a really negative outcome because they trusted the reviews.

4. You can email your local newspaper or call them and tell them about the company

Start with a search for a few local or national newspapers:

https://www.usnpl.com/

  1.  Put together a short list of email addresses, report names, and email addresses.
  2. Put together a pitch/template including the business name, transparency listing URL, and other reasons why you believe this business has fake reviews. If you were ripped off by this business, how much you spent, ect.
  3. Customize each email with the name of the reporter/journalist/newspaper and send emails one by one.

Additional Resources:

https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/about-us/our-people

https://www.wearebroadcasters.com/publicService/submitStory.asp

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1k7RAL0ky8idO3mjdVvcvsmLEd4igfac2x8W3iSs1P3Y/edit?usp=sharing

If you are unsure if a review is fake, contact The Transparency Company for more information before contacting the paper.

The last thing you want to do is falsely accuse a business of having fake reviews. Feel free to reach out to us, if you have any questions about a transparency report or a badge on our chrome extension. Generally, the best businesses to report to the newspaper are when the RPA scores are extremely high, or when the reviewer names have celebrities' names.

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